Glaucoma | How Can I Avoid Blindness?
Screening Available at South Central Eye & Laser Center
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging the optic nerve located in the back of your eye. Symptoms of glaucoma can begin slowly, so the only way to find out if you are experiencing issues is to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The ophthalmologists at South Central Eye & Laser Center in Laurel offer full-service exams locally. Judith L. Bradley, MD, and Sarah Queck, MD, are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and have years of experience in glaucoma treatment.
Dr. Bradley explains the symptoms of glaucoma. “At first, glaucoma does not present with symptoms. That is why many people do not realize they are effected by the disease. Over time, someone may lose peripheral vision, especially the part closest to the nose. As the disease gets worse, someone may notice they cannot see to the side anymore. If this condition is not treated, glaucoma can eventually cause blindness.”
It is important to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam every 1 to 2 years if you are at high risk. Those who are at high risk include:
- Over age 60, especially if you are Hispanic/Latino
- African Americans who are over age 40
- Have a family history of glaucoma
“We encourage patients to talk with your doctor about your risk for glaucoma,” says Dr. Bradley. “Together, you can establish how often you need to get checked.”
Dr. Queck explains the process of checking for glaucoma. “At South Central Eye & Laser, we can check for glaucoma as part of a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The exam is easy and painless. We will provide eye drops to dilate your pupil and then check your eyes for glaucoma and other eye problems. The exam will include a visual field test to check your side vision.”
If glaucoma is detected, the physicians at South Central Eye & Laser can determine the appropriate course of treatment. Those can include medications, laser treatment and surgery.
“If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, it is important to begin treatment immediately,” said Dr. Queck. The treatment process will not reverse the damage to your vision, but it can stop it from becoming worse. Prescription eye drops are the most common treatment. They help to lower the pressure in the eye and prevent damage to the optic nerve. We also offer laser treatment to drain the fluid out of the eye. This is a simple procedure available in the clinic. If those treatments do not work, we may look at surgery. There are different types that can help.”
Dr. Bradley and Dr. Queck work together to offer services to improve and maintain the vision of patients in our community. Their practice, South Central Eye & Laser Center, is located at 1020 Adams Street in Laurel. The facility accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurance plans. To schedule your screening for glaucoma, contact our clinic at 601-426-9454.